Author Topic: Queso Fresco  (Read 238 times)

Offline The Country Toad

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Queso Fresco
« on: October 01, 2016, 08:33:48 AM »
morning all!   
brad here..   trying to dive into cheeses a lil more.  ive made mozz so i'm sorta kinda familiar with the ideas about making cheeses and i'm trying to build up my inventory of molds and a cheese cave for some aged cheeses....  anywho....

sorta failed at my first attempt at some queso last night.  i think i know where the problem is but i wanted to see if i was on the right track.   store bought milk... i'm thinking thats my prob, BUT....   here's what i done did and i'll ask another couple of q's.

heated my milk to 110, added 1/4tsp of veggie rennet and let it sit for an hr.    i didnt have prob a tablespoon of curds!    i realized the pasteurized milk may have been my prob and i didnt have enough fat in it but i saw multiple recipes online that had a broad range of rennet doses and heating temps.  110-130... 1/4tsp-1/2tsp or several "drops" of rennet.   
i've ordered some rennet tablets and will try again later and i've got some fresh cow milk coming this week. 
so to recover the situation a lil.... i reheated the milk and added some lemon juice.  then i got about a cup and a half of curds that finally knitted up and i tried it this am... lil bland.  i'm thinking the bland taste is due to no culture and such....   
any advise to tighten up my process?  or can anyone point me in the direction of a solid set of temps and rennet doses?

thanx so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Offline awakephd

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Re: Queso Fresco
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2016, 01:58:14 PM »
Brad,

Welcome to the forum. This is definitely the place to get answers!

The quality of the milk definitely makes a difference with any cheese recipe ... except, maybe, ricotta, which is what you wound up making in the end. And yes, the lack of cultures will certainly be bland ... sort of just the taste of milk with a bit of lemon in it. :) If you didn't add salt, that will certainly help.

The two things that damage store-bought milk are heat and homogenization. You can successfully make cheese with pasteurized and homogenized (P&H) milk, but not with ultra-pasteurized (UP) milk. If the milk you used was UP, that would explain the problem. Even with just pasteurized (not UP) milk, though, results can vary from brand to brand - some brands of milk seem to be pasteurized at higher temps than others. So the key to success in using store-bought milk is to try various brands until you find one that works. If you can get low-temperature pasteurized (LTP), cream-line (non-homogenized) milk, that will give very, very good results. Of course, the very best results will come from fresh raw milk.
 
One other thought - I have never made Queso, so I don't know what normally goes into that recipe. But I am wondering about the temperature -- if I recall correctly, rennet begins to work less well as you get up over 100°, and at 130° the enzymes from the rennet are destroyed. Don't take that for gospel, since it is a fuzzy memory on my part - hopefully someone else will correct me on this if I'm not remembering correctly!
-- Andy

Offline Fritz

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Re: Queso Fresco
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2016, 03:45:54 PM »
Hi Brad,

It looks like you are making Queso Blanco not Queso Fresco. Queso Fresco uses culture (Meso II)  Where Queso Blanco is a Direct-acidification cheese using buttermilk, vinegar or citric acid to acidify the milk. No culture.

I'm not a fan of rennet tablettes ... like vegetable rennet, it gaves me inconsitant results, softer curds and less yield. So I moved on ... hope you try animal rennet... gives much better results.

For 2 gallons Queso Fresco... use 1/4 tsp Meso II, hold milk temp @ 90*...30 min.. use 1/4 diluted calcium chloride to help your pasteurized milk set. Hold 90* temp. Use 1/4 tsp diluted liquid animal rennet.. 45 min later...check for break, Cut curds 1/4 inch, rest 10min, bring to temp 95* over 20 min (very slowly). Keep stiring
gently, once 95* is reached, let curds settle and pour off whey to curds, ladle curds to drain in cheese cloth with colander. Wait 5 min and lift cheesecloth and curds into mould. Press at 8 -10 lbs for 6-8 hours.
Enjoy right away or let age 2 weeks... plastic vacuum wrap stores it for 4-5 weeks..

Hope that helps...Good luck and Enjoy!
Fritz

Offline The Country Toad

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Re: Queso Fresco
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2016, 08:40:14 AM »
holy cow thank ya'll so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   fresco vs blanco....  gotcha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    oh man i gotta get some cultures.   i've got some fresh milk coming today so i may just make some mozz for pizzas tomorrow night with it until i can get cultures.   


wow thanx again yall!    education for me!  love it!     i cant wait to screw up again and ask some more questions!

Offline awakephd

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Re: Queso Fresco
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2016, 04:23:02 PM »
Don't worry, we all have screw-up stories to share. :)
-- Andy

Online AeonSam

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Re: Queso Fresco
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2016, 12:59:37 PM »
Hey Brad,

I've made several Queso Blancos and the temp is correct but all that is needed is the vinegar. Even if you don't have cultures, this is still a quick cheese to make. It doesn't have much flavor but extra salt helps. I found that you can fry this cheese really easily.

Sam